Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT Review
Published: 6th January 2020 | Source: Corsair | Price: |
The K95 Platinum XT, as might be gleaned from its name, is a refinement of the famous K95 Platinum, rather than a wholesale revolution. Indeed it is the type of product where those of you who already own a K95 Platinum won't be left rueing your purchase, but if it has been on your wishlist for a while it's nice to know that your wait has brought you a few extra tricks to play with.
Given how brilliant the initial K95 Platinum was it doesn't surprise us at all that Corsair haven't sought to reinvent the wheel but instead just polished the areas they could whilst also giving you another couple of advances as befits the rapidly changing market. Build quality is exceptional. So often keyboards either have a little flex in them as a result of trying to keep the weight down - as if you move your keyboard around all that much - or they are built like a tank and with a similar weight. The aluminium construction of the K95 chassis gives us the best of both worlds, being light enough that you can stick it in your rucksack, but solid enough that every key press isn't met with a creak from the chassis. One area Corsair have improved are the key caps themselves which are now twice as thick as they were before with a new process to keep the font crisp and clean for the life of the keys. We've tested enough keyboards with key caps which didn't feel all that premium to know that having ones which do, and after all it's the only connection between your fingers and the letters, is a joy. It's one of those areas that you wouldn't believe made a difference until you felt it.
Another area that has seen an improvement is the included wrist rest. The initial one on the original K95 Platinum was a double sided plastic affair which did the job, but not in a manner in keeping with the flagship nature of the keyboard. The new K95 Platinum XT wrist rest is vastly improved with a padded, textured number which is both soft on your wrist but still supportive. The only downside to the aluminium chassis is that it's not magnetic and thus the wrist rest is attached with spindly plastic clips rather than magnets, but as a wrist rest is a fit and forget thing we can't imagine this is too much of an issue, and you can always invest in a specialist rest if you want to be able to easily move it out of the way.
The last big change is the fruits of the union between Corsair and Elgato with the K95 Platinum XT now supporting Stream Deck functionality for the six G-Keys. Given that one of the key benefits to the Stream Deck is how visual it is, and that the keyboard hasn't got OLED keys - remember the Optimus Maximus? - it could have easily been an exercise in frustration or memory test to know what you've assigned to what. However, the Corsair software engineers have included an easily hideable pane that can sit above any window on your desktop to give you the visual equivalent of the Stream Deck, just on your display. We're not sure if this is something which will work on the original K95 once the software is released to the public, so perhaps if you've already got a Stream Deck and K95 combination you might be able to take advantage of it without needing to buy this new keyboard, but if you haven't got a K95 already and own a Stream Deck it's the perfect reason to jump on board.
The only negative we have about the K95 Platinum XT is the weird effect you get when using the yellow lighting, wherein the background is lit slightly green - a common element of yellow on RGB systems - but the key itself is a bit red. This absolutely wasn't an issue on the K95 nor any of the previous Corsair models we've reviewed so there is a distinct possiblity that it's just our pre-release sample that has this problem, but it's something to be aware of just in case it's not an easy firmware fix. With a keyboard at this thick end of the price spectrum we'd prefer there to be no issues at all. Fortunately it is only in the yellow that this happens, and all other colours are flawless, even the white isn't blue.
The K95 Platinum XT is a refinement of an already hugely successful flagship keyboard. Corsair have managed to improve it and give it extra functionality without jacking up the price. Whilst it's still £200 with the new 100 million keystroke Cherry MX switches and improved customisation options it's an easy choice for anyone seeking the ultimate in flexibility and reliability from their keyboard.